Swim and Hour of Power


My last day at work. I have a couple of vacation days to take up, so I can enjoy being free from now to the end of the year. Well, there are a couple of work related things that I’d rather finish before January, but I can do them from home, and I can enjoy prioritizing slightly differently.

I am doing a couple of a holiday challenges. The first holiday challenge is the classic Concept2 Holiday Challenge ($0.02 per kilometer rowed and logged on the Concept2 logbook goes to a charity).

The second Holiday challenge is to get the Christmas presents without visiting a mall. More about that later.

The third holiday challenge is to row a ranking distance every third day, starting with the Half Marathon and working my way systematically to the shorter distances. I did the HM on Saturday.

So Monday was still a day for a recovery training, and I decided to do no rowing. I opted for swimming, a sport that I rarely practice, mainly because I am a super slow swimmer.

So after work I headed to the municipal swimming stadium Za Lužánkami, built in the communist early 1980s.

swimming pool

When I first visited this pool 10 years ago it was in very bad need of maintenance. Now, the pool has been renovated and it is a basic 50m pool, mainly used by people who want to train.

I go swimming rarely, and hadn’t been in this pool for 10 years, so everything was new to me. I figured out that some lanes were reserved for swimming clubs. Then there were a few lanes for the general public, some of which had a minimum swimming speed of 2 minutes per 100m.

The problem was that I was slightly slow for the 2 min/100m lanes and slightly fast for the slower lanes. Anyway, I quickly figured out that 20 pools was achievable in under an hour, so I had my target. I swam 2km, and evening I fell asleep early.

Recovery training.


First full vacation day. In the morning, I worked a bit on a top secret rowing data project. That was fun.

Then I did some groceries. I figured that 9:30 was an ideal time for doing them. Hopefully, the wave of shoppers who wait in front of the store to open at 8am would already have left, and the pre lunch wave would arrive later. Turned out to be a good bet. I managed to get all the stuff I need for ur Christmas dinners, and only fresh stuff is left for later. Oh, and for the wines I intend to visit a local vineyard. No supermarket wine. I note that I visited a supermarket, not a mall. No anonymous place that looks the same all over the country.

Then it was time to head to the center of Brno to buy some Christmas presents, combined with a lunch, and a coffee in my favorite book store. Brno is a smaller version of Vienna, so imagine lots of Christmas markets, a really nice atmosphere. There is also an abundance of coffee houses with good Italian espresso, so everything was good.

Then it was time to row. The Hour of Power, today. After Saturday’s debacle, I made a point of not looking up my Personal Best and row at a conservative pace. Rowsandall.com suggested a range between 207 and 223W, with the higher number being the best I could achieve. As the calculation is based on very few rows, I ignored the upper limit and decided to start off at 207W, which was not by coincidence the average power of Saturday’s half marathon row. I was pretty skeptical I would be able to put in a good effort. I was still pretty sore from the swimming.

All went very well. I was able to gradually increase the pace. Work per Stroke was nice and constant. I think the images and the summary speak for themselves:

Workout Summary - media/20171219-1631110o.csv
Workout Details

workout chart

workout work per Stroke chart

The irony is that after the row, I found out I was just 14 meters short of a PB. Just one Watt more and I would have equaled my PB. As a rower at my club used to say, I missed a PB by a “pičí chlup”. Do not google this, just believe me it is a very small margin.

Here is my Critical Power Chart after the row and the updated predictions:

CP chart

rowing predictions

Two easy days, then a 10k.